04 May Managing Mental Health Issues in the Workplace: Tips for Managers & HR
At least 10% of working adults in the U.S. deal with personal mental health issues every day. Many of these employees successfully navigate their illness and its effects so there is no impact on work performance or professional standards. However, some of your employees may experience difficulties at work that affect performance or manifest in workplace behavior that falls outside of acceptable parameters.
Managing mental health in the workplace is like managing anything else:
It’s about performance.
If you think an employee may have a mental health issue:
Tip #1: Don’t diagnose or make assumptions.
Tip #2: Focus on behavior and performance concerns.
Tips 1 and 2 are critical when dealing with employee performance issues. It is important to remember that managers should only address employees’ behavior at work and workplace performance.
Your concern as a manager is correcting inappropriate behavior or unacceptable performance, not the possibility of any diagnosable mental health condition.
Tip #3: Consult your EAP.
If you have a concern about an employee’s mental health, consult your EAP Account Executive or the Management Consult Team. Your EAP team consists of professionals who are qualified to:
- Assess the individual’s mental health
- Counsel you on the best way to handle the situation
- Help you manage the impact on the rest of your team
NOTE: Make sure you know your organization’s policies and procedures. It may be necessary to involve HR before contacting the EAP.
As with any management concern, taking prompt action to address the situation is the best way to support your employee and mitigate any adverse workplace impact.
Tip #4: Learn the early warning signs.
Tip #5: Intervene early – Don’t ignore problematic behavior.
For a more detailed action plan and list of early warning signs, click here.
Use the warning signs to help identify situations that may require intervention.
If a situation arises that causes you concern, follow the action steps provided.
High-Risk Warning Signs should be addressed immediately
by contacting your EAP or HR.
Remember, if you have any questions about an employee or workplace situation, consult with HR or contact your EAP directly for guidance.